"The Tech Rep" By James Michener; Continued:
"The first was quite beyond Holt's comprehension and the second was too long. He said, I'LL TRY THIS ONE, and he could still remember those autumn days-when early snow appeared on the Rockies to the west and aspen turned gold along the Cache la Poudre-when he had memorized the simple, exquisite lines.
A curious thing happened. when he came to the last three stanzas, which constituted the epitaph, he found them printed in italic, and these he memorized in funeral tones, as if they were part of a church service. When it became time to recite the poem to Professor Carrington he botched up some of the more difficult stanzas, but when he reached the italicized stanzas he could see them line by line engraved in heaven, and with profound gravity he delivered the epitaph for the young man who had lived and died unknown in a forgotten village:
HERE RESTS HIS HEAD UPON THE LAP OF EARTH
A YOUTH TO FORTUNE AND FAME UNKNOWN.
FAIR SCIENCE FROWNED NOT ON HIS HUMBLE BIRTH,
AND MELANCHOLY MARKED HIM FOR HER OWN.
Professor Carrington coughed and told the Okinawa veteran, YOU PASS."
To be continued:
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